Memento Mori

21 May

I spent some time last year working on mixed media pieces, trying out different combinations of materials and techniques. This one combined drawing, watercolour and screenprinting. I started with an A1 sheet of Somerset 250gsm and squeegeed some acrylic System 3 paint, mixed with Acrylic Medium across it, giving a randomised background colour. Then I made a photographic screen of repeats of a drawing I did of a human vertebra and printed it on top in a lighter colour, making a rather macabre wallpaper effect. I separately did two drawings in pencil and watercolour, one from a life model I work with regularly at the life drawing group at Swansea Print Workshop. The skull is drawn from a female skeleton who lives at the Elysium Studios. Her name is Felicity. I cut the screenprinted paper and mounted the watercolours from behind.

The piece is called ‘Two Women’ and is in the spirit of ‘Memento Mori‘, a tradition in European [and latterly American] art, dating back to Roman times, where the viewer is reminded that death is the inevitable consequence of life, typically by including a skull. Memento Mori often overlaps with the similar tradition of ‘Vanitas’ in European art. By putting the dead and living heads in the same pose, I try to emphasise that ultimately the two women are linked by death.

4 Responses to “Memento Mori”

  1. edenfre June 6, 2012 at 23:17 #

    This is beautiful 🙂

  2. ziggyshortcrust May 23, 2012 at 21:34 #

    Ooh I liked this piece even before I read your explanation.

    • Rosie Scribblah May 23, 2012 at 21:43 #

      Thanks – it’s more delicate than most of my work, I rarely use watercolour, but I like it a lot now.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. One From The Archives 9: The Cushion | scribblah - September 18, 2015

    […] In this piece I am also recalling the Memento Mori, a tradition in European [and latterly American] art, dating back to Roman times, where the viewer is reminded that death is the inevitable consequence of life, typically by including a skull.  You can see a previous blog featuring one of my other ‘Memento Mori’ here. […]

Please Leave a Reply. Thank You.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: